Now, I go on record in saying that I do not like the flat draw format. It is
my opinion that it does not benefit the majority of the members in any way.
For those just coming into the tour how is it good for them to be playing a top seed in the
first round time and time again. Okay, they will gain experience yes but in the two seasons they have will they have time before the money runs out due to the expenses involved to stay on the tour. But before we get to that, let's talk about the old system and how it took Judd Trump 5 seasons to adjust before he made the breakthrough or why not Neil Robertson, who in fact fell off the tour before he made his. Does anyone think seriously that either of these players, given their stage of development at the time would be where they are now. No, because Robertson in particular would have ran out of money. I don't know Judd's situation back then but I would guess the well was not bottomless.
But the reality is that we are stuck with Hearn's vision of the future so let's discuss that. The Q School was introduced and the qualifiers entered the tour, That is £1000. If they were to enter everything it will cost nearly £5000 in entry fees alone.(It beggars belief that a one frame shootout in Blackpool is £200 to enter).
On top of that expenses for the season will easily hit £15,000 so you would say that you need to hit 21,000 in earnings just to break even but wait, that's not right. Out of that £21,000 if any of that was china, india or Australia there was at least 20% deducted oh and let's not forget the 2% that the Association levies on any prize money so in actual fact in order to have a living wage you need approximately £40,000, which at the time of typing would put you close to the top 16 on the one year money list. Now I agree that in order to earn you have to win but not everyone can win all the time so I think that prize money needs to be extended down to the bottom. Not a lot, but enough to give the ones at the bottom the barest of hope. These newcomers and journeymen alike are each putting into the sport upwards of £20,000. In my opinion that makes you a pro and pro's should be paid but most of all be given the chance to develop. I know I will hear all the Hearn generated marmite about rewarding so called mediocrity but it's not that. If it has to be a flat draw organise the season properly in order to reduce some of the expenses and PAY EVERYONE.
The following for first round losers would not be out of order and considered a start. Baby steps and all that.
8 PTC's £250x64 First round losers = £128000 = £16000 per PTC
World Championship £500x64 First round losers = £32000
China Open £300x64 First round losers = £19200
Haikou World Open £300x64 First round losers =£19200
Welsh Open £250x64 First round losers = £16000
German Masters £250x64 First round losers =£16000
International Championships £400x64 First round losers = £25600
Wuxi Classic £300x64 First round losers £19200
Shanghai Masters £300x64 First round losers = £19200
Total to find £294,400
I refuse to believe the Association can't afford that.
This gives those at the bottom £4600. Hardly a reward but it's a start.
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